FIRESTONE FIREHAWK RACE REPORT
IZOD IndyCar Series - 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500-Mile Race
Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Speedway, Ind.
Sunday, May 29, 2011 - Round 5 of 17
Top-5 Finishers: 1. Dan Wheldon; 2. JR Hildebrand; 3. Graham Rahal; 4. Tony Kanaan; 5. Oriol Servia.
Race Temperatures: Temps ranged from 109°-121° F (42°-49° C) track and from 84°-91° F (28°-32° C) ambient.
Firestone Tire Performance Recap: Firestone Racing brought the same tire specification to Indianapolis that received wide-spread praise in last year's race. Some teams experienced increased wear rates on their left front tires, but other than that the tires performed well yet again, and allowed for a great race and incredibly exciting finish.
From race winner Dan Wheldon, #98 Bryan Herta Autosport Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "Certainly without great partners like Firestone, doing what we do wouldn't be possible, and it wouldn't be as much fun. I've been blessed to be in IZOD IndyCar Series cars now since 2002, and Firestones are all I've ever driven on. I certainly feel safer because of that. There's absolutely no doubt - there's no other tire company out there that can give us what we need to be able to do these speeds around this speedway as consistently and as safely as Firestone."
From Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing: "What a finish! While you have to feel for JR Hildebrand and the Panther Racing team, Dan Wheldon is certainly a deserving two-time winner at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He really knows how to do well at this track, proving it by finishing second in 2009 and '10, and winning today's centennial anniversary race. It's gratifying to see a driver and team owners who have both worked their way up through the Firestone Indy Lights development program reach the pinnacle of auto racing - victory circle at the Indy 500. The Firestone Firehawk tires worked very well today. Some teams developed a setup which led to increased speed but higher wear rates on their left front tires, but other than that, there were no issues. The drivers had a lot of confidence in their grip levels, and that led to some great passes for the lead on track. Firestone is celebrating its centennial along with the Indy 500, as we were there on Ray Harroun's car when he won the very first 500 mile race on Firestone brand tires. We're proud that Dan Wheldon is the 62nd driver to take the checkered flag first at Indianapolis on our tires."
Firestone "Tire-ific" Move of the Race: This prize is awarded after each IndyCar Series race to the driver who best utilizes his or her Firestone tires to make a bold, dramatic move during the event. Firestone Racing submits three nominees to www.indycar.com, where fans can vote in the ensuing week to determine the winner. Nominees for the Indianapolis 500 and its $20,000 prize are: Dan Wheldon, for charging to the finish and claiming his second Indy 500 victory; Graham Rahal, for advancing the most spots to move from his 29th place starting position to finish third; and JR Hildebrand, for being the highest finishing rookie driver and nearly taking the victory in his Indianapolis 500 debut.